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How to Make Restaurant-Level Salsa at Home With Just 5 Ingredients

Why spend on restaurant salsa when you can make practically the same thing right at home?

Picture this: You're at a Mexican restaurant, waiting for your burrito to make it to the table. The waitress brings over some chips and salsa to get you started. You start chomping away, dipping those salty tortilla chips into that delicious salsa over, and over, and over again. Then your burrito arrives, and you realize you're not even hungry anymore. If this is your story, then it's time to learn how to make salsa at home, simply so you can have that salsa all the time.

Now, there are a few ways to make salsa that work perfectly fine. Some make salsa using canned tomatoes, while others will chop up fresh tomatoes for a more pico de gallo style dip. But to make this salsa "restaurant level," I decided to roast them. Because who doesn't love roasted tomato salsa?

Do you love cilantro? Add it!

While I would have loved to throw cilantro in this recipe, I know that some people can't handle the taste of cilantro. So I didn't make it one of the five ingredients. However, if you love cilantro, I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of cilantro (loosely packed) into the processor as well. And if you don't like garlic, you could always swap it out for cilantro instead.

Play with the spice

If you prefer a spicier salsa, you could always roast a different pepper instead of a jalapeño. Roast a habanero for extra spiciness, or roast up a few jalapeño peppers instead of just one. Don't like spicy food? Use only half of the jalapeño in the food processor to simply add the flavor without too much spice.

Here is an easy step-by-step tutorial for you to follow!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

6 vine tomatoes
1 onion, quartered
2-3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño
1 lime, juiced

How to Make It

1

Roast the vegetables

roasted vegetables on a sheet pan
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tomatoes from the vine and place them on a non-stick baking sheet (or a baking sheet that has been sprayed down with cooking spray.) Add the onion, the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and the jalapeño to the sheet. Roast for 20 minutes.

2

Add lime juice

squeezing lime into a food processor
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Place all of the roasted ingredients in a food processor. If you don't want a spicy salsa, only put in 1/2 of the roasted jalapeño. Squeeze 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons of lime juice) into the food processor.

3

Pulse in a food processor

pulsing salsa in a food processor
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Pulse the salsa 3 or 4 times for a chunkier salsa. For a smooth salsa, pulse it a few more times until it reaches the consistency you desire.

4

Let it sit for 15 minutes

finished salsa with chips on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Place the salsa in the fridge and let the flavors mix together for about 15 minutes until the salsa cools down. For an even more flavorful salsa, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

5

Serve with chips

dipping chips into a bowl of salsa
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Serve the salsa with chips, or as a topping for one of these taco recipes!

Full Salsa Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the vine and place them on a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Add the onion, the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and the jalapeño to the sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables to a food processor and the juice of the lime. Pulse the salsa 3 or 4 times.
  6. Place the salsa in the fridge and let the flavors mix together for about 15 minutes until the salsa cools down.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more